Rev. Bliss W. Browne

Hobe Sound, Florida
United States

Focus Areas

Economic Security
Community Development
Leadership Development
Youth Development
Youth Development


The Rev. Bliss W. Browne is founder and President of Imagine Chicago, an innovative civic project founded in 1992 that has inspired a global movement on six continents ( She is an ordained Episcopal priest, and was formerly a corporate banking Vice President and Division Head at the First National Bank of Chicago where she worked from 1975-1991. Her civic leadership positions have included serving as Chairman of the Center for Neighborhood Technology and of the MidAmerica Leadership Foundation; Trustee of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club; and Advisory Board member of Public Allies, Archeworks, Chicago Children's Choir, Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions, the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, and the Community Advisory boards of the Field Museum and the Chicago Historical Society. She also served on the Illinois Governor's Public-Private Child Care Council and the Presiding Bishop's Consultation on Reconciliation. She was the first female priest ever to preach at Westminster Abbey, in 1979, and has served in parish ministry in Chicago for 30 years. She was one of 24 members of the Saguaro Seminar on Civic Engagement in America, a two-year forum at the Harvard Kennedy School that recognized national innovators in developing social capital. She is a sought after keynote speaker, facilitator, consultant and trainer nationally and internationally. She holds degrees from Yale (B.A. 1971 in History), Harvard Divinity School (M.Div. 1974 in Theology), and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern (M.M. 1978 in Finance). Awards include: Rockefeller Fellow 1972, Kellogg National Leadership Fellow 1988-91, two Eureka Community Awards 1995-96, the Chicago Mercedes Mentor Award 1998, and the Chicago Justice Pioneer Award 2003. She is married with three young adult children. Rev. Browne's publications include "Cultivating Hope and Imagination," in Vimukh Shiksha and the Journal of Future Studies in 2001 and "Liberating Imagination about Aging," in Foresight in 2003. She is also author of two books: "Ten Years of Imagination in Action," a conceptual framework for imagination as a social movement and "Women Alive: A Legacy of Social Justice." She is a co-author of "The Making and Breaking of Children's Lives." She can be contacted at